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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol Ii Mon Khmer Siamese Chinese Families"

AHOSI.    ALPHABET.

be similarly attached to any other consonant.   The folio wins: are examples :— •
kf,  #»    ma,    7/1 dd,     701    oha,     *m    fc,

me,

C

^      Tf     to,       o      waff,     TY

Note that in writing these vowels great carelessness is observed. I have already
pointed out the frequent confusion between aw and au. In the same way i and &, and u
and u> are continually confounded,—or rather I is often written 'for it and « for w. Similarly

)r)     * and   711   $ aie often confounded.

As regards CONSONANTS, it will he seen that the Ihom alphabet is more complete
than Khamti. The latter wants the soft letters g, gh} j, jh, d, dh} b and 6A. On the
other hand Khamti has y instead of the Ahom/ The same is the case in Shan. In other
respects, also, the Khamti alphabet is nearly, but not quite, the same as that of Shan,

In Ahom, the letter ^Q (No. 35) is pronounced 5 when initial, and to "when final. When
subscript to another consonant it is used for the vowel d (No. 18).

Every consonant has the letter a inherent in it. The same occurs in the Chakraa
spoken in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, which is an Aryan language, using an alphabet
belonging to the same group as that of Ahom In the transliterations drawn up IT* the
local officers the d is always carefully marked as long, and there seems to be little doubt
about the matter. The same transliteration, however, represents the sound of o in (hot *
by a (as in Assamese), and hence it is possible that while the inherent vowel o£ the
consonants is marked d, it is not necessarily a long d, but may also have the sound of a
in 'have.' The point is not of much consequence, for since, as has been said above, the
tones of the words have been forgotten, there is little chance of the modern pronuncia-
tion of the inherent vowel correctly representing the ancient one

When it is desired to pronounce a consonant \standing alone) without the inherent
vowel, as, for instance, at the end of a closed syllables the mark ^ corresponding to the

Sanskrit virdma is put over it.   Thus "M Jed, but 7H A.   The letter V m&f however,
when foal, does not take this mark.   Instead of this it becomes o 3 a smali circle, written

above the preceding consonant, and corresponding to the Sanskrit anusvdm.   Thus
f^
not YD V chdm, and.
In IDifiwrt, the inherent vowel has the Bame sound as in Hindi,— -that of the a in ' America.' In Shan It ii
descriijed as the o in ' quota' , ' Ida '. Dr Gushing often tratiscribefl it as 3. In Siamese, its sonnd is repreeentid
by 0. In botk Shan and Khamti an &nusi<ara ia used to indicate a final m.
The pronunciation of the consonants presents little difficulty,  u iig$ ia pronoijnced